Navenby Plough Jags on their evening tour of pubs in the village. Photo: NKDC EMN-220114-115350001
Navenby Plough Jags on their evening tour of pubs in the village. Photo: NKDC EMN-220114-115350001

Navenby actors reviving Plough Play tradition to delight villagers

The ancient religious celebration of Plough Sunday was marked in Navenby with the revival of two exciting ‘plough plays’.

By Andy Hubbert
Sunday, 23rd January 2022, 11:00 am

January 9 marked Plough Sunday, the traditional start of the agricultural year. After a blessing of the plough, on the Monday labourers historically marked this event with music, dance and misdemeanours, sometimes taking their plough on a procession asking for gifts of money, food or ale.

Reviving the tradition, the young actors of Duck Egg Theatre, performed a modern take on the play, starting off in the garden of Mrs Smith’s Cottage before touring venues throughout the Sunday afternoon.

A spokesman from the cottage said about 150 people watched throughout the day, and donated about £100 for the cottage.

She said: “Everyone enjoyed it – the young people from Duck Egg Theatre did a fantastic job, keeping people entertained with tricky outside conditions. It’s the first time they’ve done a folk play like this.”

In the evening the adult players of Navenby Plough Jags set off from the cottage to tour the village pubs with a traditional plough play, with a really good turnout and great response.

They are already looking to include more villagers in the evening play next year.

Prior to the event, folk play researcher Simon Garbutt had given a talk on the history of Lincolnshire plough plays.

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